The World According to Garp

The World According to Garp

by John Irving

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Journey through generations and across two continents with the astonishing family of T. S. Garp, bastard son of a belligerent mother. Garp loves, lusts, labors and triumphs in a world of assassins, wrestlers, feminist fanatics, tantalizing teen-age babysitters, adoring children and a wayward wife.

His life is comic, tragic, violent and tender, his world outrageous. And it is as real as our own.

"Like all great works of art, Irving's novel seems always to have been there, a diamond sleeping in the dark, chipped out at last for our enrichment and delight." (Cosmopolitan)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345366764
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1990
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 116,198
Product dimensions: 4.14(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules—a film with seven Academy Award nominations.



Date of Birth:

March 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Exeter, New Hampshire


B.A., University of New Hampshire, 1965; also studied at University of Vienna; M.F.A., Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1967

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One - Boston Mercy

Garp's mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theater. This was shortly after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and people were being tolerant of soldiers, because suddenly everyone was a soldier, but Jenny Fields was quite firm in her intolerance of the behavior of men in general and soldiers in particular. In the movie theater she had to move three times, but each time the soldier moved closer to her until she was sitting against the musty wall, her view of the newsreel almost blocked by some silly colonnade, and she resolved she would not get up and move again. The soldier moved once more and sat beside her.

Jenny was twenty-two. She had dropped out of college almost as soon as she'd begun, but she had finished her nursing-school program at the head of her class and se enjoyed being a nurse. She was an athletic-looking young woman who always had high color in her cheeks; she had dark, glossy hair and what her mother called a mannish way of walking (she swung her arms), and her rump and hips were so slender and hard that, from behind, she resembled a young boy. In Jenny's opinion, her breasts were too large; she thought the ostentation of her bust made her look "cheap and easy."

She was nothing of the kind. In fact, she had dropped out of college when she suspected that the chief purpose of her parents' sending her to Wellesley had been to have her dated by and eventually mated to some well-bred man. The recommendation of Wellesley had come from her older brothers, who had assured her parents that Wellesley women were not thought of loosely and were considered high in marriage potential.Jenny felt that her education was merely a polite was to bide time, as if she were really a cow, being prepared only for the insertion of the device for artificial insemination.

Her declared major had been English literature, but when it seemed to her that her classmates were chiefly concerned with acquiring the sophistication and poise to deal with men, she had no trouble leaving literature for nursing. She saw nursing as something that could be put into immediate practice, and its study had no ulterior motive that Jenny could see (later she wrote, in her famous autobiography, that too many nurses put themselves on display for too many doctors; but then her nursing days were over).

She liked the simple, no-nonsense uniform; the blouse of the dress made less of her breasts; the shoes were comfortable, and suited to her fast pace of walking. When she was at the night desk, she could still read. She did not miss the young college men, who were sulky and disappointed if you wouldn't compromise yourself, and superior and aloof it you would. At the hospital she saw more soldiers and working boys than college men, and they were franker and less pretentious in their expectations; if you compromised yourself a little, they seemed at least grateful to see you again. Then, suddenly, everyone was a soldier—and full of the self-importance of college boys—and Jenny Fields stopped having anything to do with men.

"My mother," Garp wrote, "was a lone wolf."

—There was a popular joke among the nurses in Boston at that time, but it was not funny to Jenny Fields. The joke involved the other hospitals in Boston. The hospital Jenny worked in was Boston Mercy Hospital, which was called Boston Mercy; there was also Massachusetts General Hospital, which was called Mass General. And another hospital was the Peter Bent Brigham, which was called the Peter Bent.

One day, the joke goes, a Boston cab driver had his taxi hailed by a man who staggered off the curb toward him, almost dropping to his knees in the street. The man was purple in the face with pain; he was either strangling or holding his breath, so that talking was difficult for him, and the cabby opened the door and helped him inside, where the man lay face down on the floor alongside the back seat, tucking his knees up to his chest.

"Hospital! Hospital!" he cried.

"The Peter Bent?" the cabby asked. That was the closest hospital.

"It's worse than bent," the man moaned. "I think Molly bit it off!"

Few jokes were funny to Jenny Fields, and certainly not this one; no peter jokes for Jenny, who was staying clear of the issue. She had seen the trouble peters could get into; babies were not the worst of it. Of course she saw people who didn't want to have babies, and they were sad that they were pregnant; they shouldn't have to have babies, Jenny thought—though she mainly felt sorry for the babies who were born. She saw people who wanted to have babies, too, and they made her want to have one. One day, Jenny Fields though, she would like to have a baby—just one. But the trouble was that she wanted as little to do with a peter as possible, and nothing whatsoever to do with a man.

Most peter treatment Jenny saw was done to soldiers. The U.S. Army would not begin to benefit from the discovery of penicillin until 1943, and there were many soldiers who didn't get penicillin until 1945. At Boston Mercy, in the early days of 1942, peters were usually treated with sulfa and arsenic. Sulfathiazole was for the clap—with lots of water recommended. For syphilis, in the days before penicillin, they used neoarsphenamine; Jenny Fields thought that this was the epitome of all that sex could lead to—to introduce arsenic into the human chemistry, to try to clean the chemistry up.

The other peter treatment was local and also required a lot of fluid. Jenny frequently assisted with this method of disinfecting, because the patient required lots of attention at the time; sometimes, in fact, he needed to be held. It was a simple procedure that could force as much as one hundred cc's of fluid up the penis and through the surprised urethra before it all came back, but the procedure left everyone feeling a bit raw. The man who invented a device for this method of treatment was named Valentine, and his device was called the Valentine irrigator. Long after Dr. Valentine's irrigator was improved, or replaced with another irrigation device, the nurses at Boston Mercy still referred to the procedure as the Valentine treatment—an appropriate punishment for a lover, thought Jenny Fields.

"My mother," Garp wrote, "was not romantically inclined."

When the soldier in the movie theater first started changing seats—when he made his first move on her-Jenny Fields felt that the Valentine treatment would be just the thing for him. But she didn't have an irrigator with her; it was much too large for her purse. It also required the considerable cooperation of the patient. What she did have with her was a scalpel; she carried it with her all the time. She had not stolen it from surgery, either; it was a castaway scalpel with a deep nick taken out of the point (it had probably been dropped on the floor, or in a sink)—it was no good for fine work, but it was not for fine work that Jenny wanted it.

At first it had slashed up the little silk pockets of her purse. Then she found part of an old thermometer container that slipped over the head of the scalpel, capping it like a fountain pen. It was this cap she removed when the soldier moved into the seat beside her and stretched his arm along the armrest they were (absurdly) meant to share. His long hand dangled off the end of the armrest; it twitched like the flank of a horse shuddering flies away. Jenny kept her hand on the scalpel inside her purse; with her other hand, she held the purse tightly in her white lap. She was imagining that her nurse's uniform shone like a holy shield, and for some perverse reason this vermin beside her had been attracted by her light.

"My mother," Garp wrote, "went through her life on the lookout for purse-snatchers and snatch-snatchers."

In the theater, it was not her purse that the soldier wanted. He touched her knee. Jenny spoke up fairly clearly. "Get your stinking hand off me," she said. Several people turned around.

"Oh, come on," the soldier moaned, and his hand shot quickly under her uniform; he found her thighs locked tightly together—he found his whole arm, from his shoulder to his wrist, suddenly sliced open like a soft melon. Jenny had cut cleanly through his insignia and his shirt, cleanly through his skin and muscles, baring his bones at the joint of his elbow. ("If I'd wanted to kill him," she told the police, later, "I'd have slit his wrist. I'm a nurse. I know how people bleed.")

The soldier screamed. On his feet and falling back, he swiped at Jenny's head with his uncut arm, boxing her ear so sharply that her head sang. She pawed at him with the scalpel, removing a piece of his upper lip the approximate shape and thinness of a thumbnail. (I was not trying to slash his throat," she told the police, later. "I was trying to cut his nose off but I missed.")

Crying, on all fours, the soldier groped his way to the theater aisle and headed toward the safety of the light in the lobby. Someone else in the theater was whimpering, in fright.

Jenny wiped her scalpel on the movie seat, returned it to her purse, and covered the blade with the thermometer cap. Then she went to the lobby, where keen wailings could be heard and the manager was calling through the lobby doors over the dark audience, "Is there a doctor here? Please! Is someone a doctor?"

Someone was a nurse, and she went to lend what assistance she could. When the soldier saw her, he fainted; it was not really from loss of blood. Jenny knew how facial wounds bled; they were deceptive. The deeper gash on his arm was of course in need of immediate attention, but the soldier was not bleeding to death. No one but Jenny seemed to know that—there was so much blood, and so much of it was on her white nurse's uniform. They quickly realized she had done it. The theater lackeys would not let her touch the fainted soldier, and someone took her purse from her. The mad nurse! The crazed slasher! Jenny Fields was calm. She thought it was only a matter of waiting for the true authorities to comprehend the situation. But the police were not very nice to her, either.

From the Paperback edition.

What People are Saying About This

Abraham Verghese

"A grand comic novel, in the best tradition of the comic novelists like Charles Dickens and Gunter Grass."--Abraham Verghese

From the Publisher

“The most powerful and profound novel about women written by a man in our generation . . . Like all extraordinary books, Garp defies synopsis. . . . A marvelous, important, permanent novel by a serious artist of remarkable powers.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Nothing in contemporary fiction matches it. . . . Irving’s blend of gravity and play is unique, audacious, almost blasphemous. . . . Brilliant, funny, and consistently wise; a work of vast talent.”—The New Republic

“A wonderful novel, full of energy and art, at once funny and horrifying and heartbreaking.”—Washington Post

Robertson Davies

There is something of Byron about John Irving. Not only is it that he woke after the publication of The World According to Garp to find himself famous, but the extremity of his opinions and the nervous violence of his language recall that intemperate nobleman, and, like Byron, he would certainly say that love is no sinecure. Indeed, nothing in life is easy for Irving's characters, and in his novels the still, sad music of humanity rises to the orgasmic uproar of a rock band.

Reading Group Guide

1. In the preceding essay, John Irving writes about his frustration in trying to determine what The World According to Garp is about. He finally accepts his young son's conclusion: "The fear of death or the death of children—or of anyone you love." In your opinion, is this the most overt theme of the novel?

2. Feminism comes in many flavors in the novel. The most obvious, perhaps, are Jenny Field's straightforward brand of feminism, Ellen Jamesian's embittered, victimized type, and Roberta Muldoon's nurturing, female-embracing style. But are there other characters who portray less distinct, murkier shades of feminism? What is feminism in the lives of Helen Holm, Charlotte the prostitute, Mrs. Ralph, and other women in the novel? And what does feminism mean to Garp?

3. How does The World According to Garp ultimately assess the prospects of understanding between the sexes? Support your opinion with examples from the novel.

4. In the novel, we read about a variety of biographers' theories on why Garp stopped writing—and what motivated him to write again—albeit for a very short-lived time. Helen agreed that Garp's collision with his own mortality brought him back to his craft. If you were the biographer of T. S. Garp, what would your theory be?

5. Garp's vehemence against "political true believers" is a major force of the novel and he maintains that they are the sworn enemy of the artist. The Ellen Jamesians are a farcical portrayal of this notion. In your opinion, what is the relationship between art and politics—and is it possible for them to successfully coexist?

6. After the terrible accident inwhich Duncan is maimed, many pages pass before Walt's death is acknowledged to the reader. And then, it is given a tragic-comedic twist; Garp announces in an Alice Fletcher-like lisp that he "mish him." What was the effect of this narrative device on you? Was the sorrow intensified or assuaged?

7. The narrator's voice is ironically detached and almost flippant—even when delivering the most emotionally charged, heartbreaking moments in the novel. In what ways does the narrator contrast and play against the novel's dramatic elements? How is it similar—and different—from the voice of Garp?

8. People who have read and loved The World According to Garp consistently comment on the extraordinary ability of the novel to provoke laughter and tears simultaneously. Was this your experience as well? If so, how do you think this effect is achieved?

9. What is the significance of the meta-fiction—the stories within the story? How does Garp's "writing" voice compare to our perception of him as a character?

10. Over the last fifteen years The World According to Garp has entered the canon of literature. How do you think it is perceived now in comparison to when it was first published in the late '70s? Is the American moral center much different today than it was then? For example, despite Garp's and Helen's indiscretions, their relationship is still portrayed as loving and supportive. Do you think that today's social climate is as accepting of these kind of transgressions?

11. In his afterword, John Irving admits to having been "positively ashamed of how much lust was in the book. Indeed, every character in the story who indulges his or her lust is severely punished." How do you feel about that condemnation? Is the world an arguably more precarious place because of lust?

12. What do the peripheral characters contribute to the novel? Is there a common thread they share . . . Mrs. Ralph, the young hippie, Dean Bodger, Ernie Holm, "Old Tinch, " the Fletchers?

13. The World According to Garp has been heralded as a literary masterpiece while at the same time enjoying phenomenal commercial success--a rare feat for a novel. What are the elements of high literary merit in the novel? Likewise, what aspects of the book land it squarely into the mainstream consciousness? In your opinion, how is this balance achieved?

14. Have you read any other John Irving novels? If so, did you find any similarities between them in style or tone?

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The World According to Garp 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first John Irving book. When I first started, the book seemed a bit crowded with detail that seemed to slow the story down, but the style of the writing was not what made me a fan of the book. It was the characters that sold me. To me, the story was about how people define themselves. What events make us who we are, and how the goals we set for ourselves help shape what we become. Garp is a writer who is always striving to create his greatest work. Ironically, the story that gains the most notoriety is the one written when he was at his most innocent in life, his first. Life can hinder the imagination because we relate life experience to our storytelling. It fashions how we see and interpret things. Admittedly, some of these characters are extremes, but you have to appreciate the irony and humor of Jenny, a woman whose misinterpreted independence turns her into a pivotal player in the feminist movement. Each character is defined by the choices they make, the paths they lead. Although it is not the most upbeat ending I've ever read, the power of the book shows how different events have such dramatically different consequences on each person. The roles of sexuality, greatness and political correctness, family, and marriage are all explored in very real and graphic ways. By following each character to their end (literally) you can appreciate how the cycle of life continues and how each character left their mark on those around them. By the end of the book, you can't help but feel sorry to see this eccentric cast of characters go. A good read.
Booklover87 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this novel and it has become one of my favorites. John Irving is such a fantastic writer. T.S. Garp and Jenny Fields are two of the greatest characters ever written and the story is original, funny, heartbreaking, sad and, at times, horrible. I enjoyed every word. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves novels because this is a novel written for the reader.
ds1017 More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of John Irving since I read "A Widow for One Year" several years back. I decided to visit this story as it was his most famous and I recalled it being studied in my high school, although I was not in that class. If I had to choose I would say it is the best book I've ever read. The themes of life, death, gender identity, sexism, sexuality, human neuroses, marriage and family are so deftly woven into the perfect "dramady" of a story, I cannot imagine any other book coming close. That you can simultaneously identify with every single character at some point in the book (even if you previously hated them, and vice versa) is only testament to the most overriding theme of all- the world and the characters in it are ever-changing with our ever-changing perspective. As Garp's world view evolves we see that what was once ridiculous is now wholly understandable, what was once noble and beautiful, is now a silly outdated sentiment. Death is the ultimate equalizer, and hence the main theme. If we are all terminal cases, we have far more in common than we realize.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Never in my life have I read a book like The World According to Garp, though luckily that¿s a good thing. John Irving really delivers in this book, even if its not heart stopping on the edge of your seat reading material, but it is a clever and accurate take on life through fictional characters 'although I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't, from the way Irving so deeply develops them it is hard to tell'. The main bulk of The World According to Garp is about Garp from the fetus to his death bed with chapters or sections here and there about his mother or one of their stories. The book begins with Garp¿s mother being arrested for cutting a soldier in a movie theater and unfortunately that¿s as interesting as the beginning with Garp¿s mother gets. Garp¿s mother is a very unemotional piece of work before she has Garp and she tend to not understand many children can understand due to her sheltered and loveless life and yet she¿s not unhappy about it. To me the book drags on and is a little awkward in places until Garp¿s birth, but its well worth it to read through it. Once Garp is born you really receive the full potential of Irving¿s writing because after he¿s born Irving portrays every emotion through the book phenomenally well and you really feel each and every emotion like its your own. Another thing I really loved about The World According to Garp was the book¿s tone. The books satirical and a little sarcastic tone really put this book on another level for me. I had never before laughed when reading a book until now, even in books that have tried to be funny I had never laughed, but The World According to Garp just communicated to me on such a level that I really laughed for the right reasons on many, many parts of the book. Overall, I really recommend this book because its pros well outweigh its cons, its clever, its funny, and it¿s an all around a good book. Although it will not be a suitable book for some ages due to its very mature content throughout parts of the book, in the form of curse words, sex scenes, and other R rated debauchery.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost Dickensian in its breadth and scope, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP is likely to rank among American literature's classics of the 1970s. Through the characters of Garp, his family and the eccentrics they encounter, Irving makes readers laugh and cry at the beauty and pathos of human existence. Save your copy. You'll want to read it again someday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has EVERYTHING. You'll laugh, you'll ache, you'll feel moved.. read it!! NOTHING is forced, the characters are SO REAL, it's surprisingly witty, sad, just EVERYTHING. It's genius.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read quite a bit of fiction and I really like Irving's style. He is a very honest author, telling you the truth of what it would be like to be in the character's shoes. I think that the graphic sections of the book were not too much, but came very close to the edge - which I liked. I need to be shocked and this book did it while keeping the characters real. My only complaint: it moved a little slow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book, and I was shocked to see that it only had a four star rating. So I read all the reviews, and I found that people that didn't like were offend by the sexual content. Guess what people, sex is a big part of life!!!!! Especially for happily married people. Sex is not offensive, it just is. Get real people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't too enthusiastic after the first 4 chapters. Then I thought Garp and his mother would be trapped forever in Vienna, and nothing too special would ever occur in their lives. And all of a sudden, I could not let it out of my hands. It's pulsating with life, with the real life most of us experience every day. At the same time, it makes you think whether you want to be Garp, to be able to feel like Garp...I am not sure I have fully understood him, a re-reading of the book is definitely imposed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing! I couldn't put it down!
rosies on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I disliked Garp; I didn't care about him at all.
agnesmack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The World According to Garp is the 3rd book I've read by John Irving and I think I'm ready to be done.Mr. Irving sure does love writing novels about men who like older women. He sure does like starting those novels well before the actual story starts, which leaves you reading 200 pages of boring drivel before you get to the good stuff. He sure does like writing about men growing up with single mothers.This all might be forgivable except that Irving is very much a plot-driven author. His writing is solid and all but it's the characters that get you through his bloated works. And when you're reading basically the same story for the 3rd time, well, those characters aren't quite so compelling anymore.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Irving books.
mshouser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The World According to Garp" is one of my favorite books of all time. This book is both funny and tragic at the same. Although it was first published in 1978, many people find it a unique tale still. John Irving tells the story of Jenny Fields, a nurse turned women's activist, and her son, T.S. Garp. The book chronicles Garp's life from school age through his efforts to become an author and his trials and tribulations as a son, husband, and father. Irving blends humor with sadness and tragedy as he creates a unique and heartfelt tale that mirrors the real life situations we all find ourselves in. This book is a definite must read!
Joybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book, wonderful quirky characters make it hard to stop reading. Lots of action, and just when you think things are over, something wild happens. This book is difficult to describe, it is the story of T.S. Garp. Starting with his conception (his mother was not interested in men or sex, but wanted a child) and following his life through child hood to adulthood and ending with his death. The book is full of humor, sadness, sex, infidelity, rape, death, feminism and so much more. It is impossible to describe this book and do it justice, a must read.
KarriesKorner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really funny. Wonderful tale of Jenny, a single mother, who raises her only son, Garp, at a boy's school where she is the school nurse. This is a raucous coming-of-age adventure. I liked the characters so much that I cried when the book ended.
THE_ROCK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thoroghly enjoyed reading A widow for one year, so had a lot of expecations from this book but I was glad when i finally finished it as i did not enjoy reading any of it.How garp is born what his mother does, indeed what they do together in Europe and how garps married life is, its not interesting to me. The last bit is very tragic hence gripping.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Irving can be very funny, and in this novel he frequently is. The cataclysmic event at the novel's epicentre managed to be hilarious and tragic at the same time - quite a feat.The trouble I find with all Irving's novels is that he gets snagged up on issues that he clearly thinks are fascinating and he devotes great chunks of the book to banging on about them, which is fine as long as the reader thinks they're fascinating too. I didn't always, and I found myself wishing he'd just move on. And as for the wrestling.....does every central character in an Irving novel have to love wrestling? It seems to have to be shoe-horned into the plot at all costs. No more wrestling! Please!
rolyaty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My First exposure to John Irving, and I loved the book. Great humor, great style, amazing characters, inventive plot. What's not to love?This started me down the path of reading all of his books.
rayski on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book about dealing with your personal fears, the UnderToad, a bit of feminism and a bit about the pitfalls of Lust. Very funny at times and always entertaining.
WittyreaderLI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was my second Irving book this year and I really thought it was a good read. I thought the characters were well developed and likeable and the plot was very interesting.My complaints are few but: the parts where it had Garp's writings I thought were boring. I tried to read them, and eventually I found myself skipping around. This book also was very similiar to his other book I read (Even though I know it was written before). I guess John Irving really likes wrestling and relationships between older and younger people. John Irving is an interesting author because of these trends though!
shieldsk2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On of my all time favorites. The novel within a novel is brilliant!
thairishgrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in high school and was shocked and enthralled by the world according to John Irving, a brilliant author who has the ability to find humor and compassion in the most unlikely of situations. After his unique conception, Garp struggles to make sense of the world under the influence of his strong, feminist mother.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The World According to Garp is a best seller written by John Irving and first published in the mid 1970s. I found it to be extremely entertaining and at times downright disturbing.The story spans the life of T.S. Garp and the people around him. There are three reoccurring themes throughout the book: sex, writing, and tragic relationships. From the very beginning sex is very prominent. Garp's mother impregnates herself with the help of a brain-dead, dying soldier only known as Technical Sergeant Garp. She has always wanted to be a mother but not a wife. Her child, named T.S. Garp after the soldier, grows up to be very preoccupied with sex and as a result adultery also becomes a strong theme later in the book. As Garp comes of age his mother becomes a literary feminist, writing a best selling autobiography about her life called A Sexual Suspect. This influences Garp to become a writer with some success as well. He marries his childhood crush and goes on to have three children with her. Throughout the entire plot the dynamics of awkward yet tragic relationships is prominent. Among the most interesting characters are Ellen, Robert(a), and Michaal. Ellen James is a young girl who was raped and had her tongue removed. Her tragedy prompted other women to cut out their own tongues and call themselves "Ellen Jamesians." Roberta Muldoon is a transsexual who used to be a football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. Michael Milton is a love interest of Garp's wife who has an unfortunate accident when his car meets Garp's Volvo at a high rate of speed.
missmath144 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As I recall, it was funny. I liked the first part about the mother the most. The rest seemed to be a typical author's self-absorbed autobiographical view of an author's life.